Usa & Canada Cruises

Holland America Line: What You Need To Know Before Cruising





Holland America Line is one of the most popular cruise lines. Discover the things you need to now about cruising with Holland America before you go. I share tips and advice on everything from what to budget for (what the fare does and does not include), dress code and passenger type and mix.

Every week Gary Bembridge’s Tips For Travellers Channel posts a video to help you make the most of your precious travel time and money on both land and at sea. First-hand travel inspiration, advice and tips based on the over 20 years I have been travelling every month.

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29 comments

  1. I think you do a wonderful job in all of your videos. Thanks for answering so many of my questions!

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  2. Thanks for the information because I had no clue. All my travels have been on air crafts, for decades.

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  3. Holland America poor choice for cruise vacation! Excursions not very good , burger place is open a few hours a day. There is no food station open around the clock , Lido deck food not very good.

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  4. Gratuity? Is that mandatory anywhere? The fuck

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  5. I visited this ship while in port here. We took an in-depth tour and enjoyed a decent lunch. Too many levels of packages makes for a class-distinction vibe. They have an array of restaurants, none of which were overly impressive. I mean, how much food do you need to eat? Even espressos are part of an add-on package. You can't consume your own brought alcohol in your room. Insane. My conclusion is that I will never take a cruise such as this. But another European river cruise? Anytime!

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  6. I traveled with HAL when I was 22 years old. The trip was a gift for my mum and we both loved it. About the first point in this video: It is true that the average age is higher than on other cruise ships and that entertainment is not focused on action and adventure, but I didn't mind that at all. In fact, we actually appreciated the quiet and relaxed atmosphere. I'd like to add that the ship never felt crowded. At times you have entire areas almost for yourself and that was one thing we valued a lot – more space. I guess it depends on what you are looking for but if the focus is on traveling in a relaxed manner and on the places you visit, HAL is the right choice!

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  7. We traveled the Inland Passage out of Vancouver on the Zuiderdam several years ago. This video is accurate. I would like to add this. "You get what you pay for."

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  8. Still I need a job

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  9. Make sure the ship is not going into dry dock! We sailed HAL twice and both times it was a disaster! We had no toilet for 26 days on the Mexico/ Hawaii cruise. It took a BBB complaint to get them to do anything. They finally gave us a $600 credit if we cruised within a year.(we paid $8000) OK so we took the cruise to Cuba and had brown water in our room. Both times the ship went into dry dock after we left. NEVER again HAL! We will use Princess

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  10. Extremely helpful, especially with respect to dress code. Not being familiar with Holland and knowing that their demographic skews older still has me wondering about how entertained 11-14 year olds would be on the longer cruises. But of course, much of the fun is to be off the cruise and doing the excursions anyway 🙂

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  11. I am going to alaska on HAL and all I drink is beer. My wife does not drink at all. Can anyone offer me advice on what my options are?

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  12. My favorite. Just got off Norwegian, never again they are the worst. Hal all the way.

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  13. best thing about Holland america, is that you can choose another cruise line, just awful went on the zaadam and the hard sell everytime you came out of your cabin was over whelming . Entertainment was just dreadful and the cruise directors voice grated on our brain for 7 days, for a better cruise experience if you are European -Cruise with another line, and stay away from the US boats full of trump voting Americans

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  14. Their reputation is well-deserved: they have the oldest demographic of any cruise line, the consequences of which may or may not be a problem for you.

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  15. Is it true that even at the buffet restaurant you can not pick your food, they serve you ?

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  16. Pay a bit more for Azamara!!!

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  17. this ship is in Montreal today

    thats why im here =)

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  18. Thanks!

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  19. I am considering San Diego to Fort Lauderdale through the Panama on Holland America and the last one booked I booked they had that construction any ideas

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  20. I was a frequent cruiser on Holland America until they gave me the ride of Hell, made me sick, refused to fix the problems and sent me a bill for medical services. I was on a ten day cruise in an ocean view cabin on one of their older ships. The thermostat was broken in the cabin and the room could not get warmer than about 60 degrees. Not a good situation for an older passenger with a heart condition. They sent people to fix the thermostat and finally informed me it could not be fixed. I demanded a different room where the temperature could be controlled to a more reasonable temperature. They said they were sold out and no cabins with normal temperatures were available. Instead they sent up a dozen blankets. Then I got sick and started running a fever. They quarantined me to the cabin and brought me more blankets. There was a charge for medical attention. It's a shame, I had really liked cruising with Holland America. Now I am terrified at their casual behavior towards passengers well being, comfort, health and safety issues. I was never offered compensation or an apology. It might have been one of the worst 10 day periods of my life after having open heart surgery.

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  21. I'm going on Koningsdam saturday next week.

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  22. Thank you so much, Gary! This video was super helpful. Had no idea that HAL had an app, but will definitely be downloading before my Alaska cruise tomorrow!

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  23. beautiful! but the employee like Kren Austria was humiliating her mother!!!

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  24. Does Holland American have trivia, line dancing, Zumba and Karaoke? (My favorite things)

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  25. Are all the ships in Holland America same? We didn’t have what you describe offered in our Holland America cruise.

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  26. Does Holland offer studio cabins, with a single bed, for single travelers?

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  27. I just took a cruise with Royal Caribbean. It’s the only line I take. My aunt and sister took a cruise with holland. My sister had never been on a cruise before so she enjoyed it. My aunt said it was the worst cruise in the universe. There was nothing to do and she hated it. She said it was like a hospital onboard.

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  28. I heard sometimes your room isn’t ready when you board – how do you know when it’s ready?

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  29. We

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